Women’s basketball picked to finish third in SCIAC preseason poll

Lucy Criswell shoots a three-pointer.
Lucy Criswell (photo by Larry Newman)

ORANGE, Calif. – After making its seventh consecutive trip to the SCIAC Postseason Tournament last season, the Chapman University women's basketball team heads back on to the hardwood this weekend to open the 2019-20 season.

The Panthers were picked to finish third in the SCIAC preseason poll, the same place they finished in the 2018-19 season. Chapman finished last season with an 11-5 record in the SCIAC and a 16-10 record overall. The Panthers earned the No. 3 seed in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament but fell to Pomona-Pitzer 62-75 in the semifinal game to end their season. 

Senior Lucy Criswell returns to the court to help lead the Panthers. The 2017-18 SCIAC Athlete of the Year averaged 31.7 minutes per game last season, scoring a career-high 16.3 points per game. She also led the squad in three point shooting percentage, hitting 37 percent of her shots from beyond the arc.

Criswell earned All-SCIAC Second Team honors last season and set several Chapman records. The Portland, Ore. native set single-season records with 80 made three-pointers and 37 total blocks and already has the Chapman career record with 90 blocks over her three years as a Panther.

Senior Marissa Dunn also returns to the court to help lead Chapman after averaging 28.5 minutes last season. She scored a career-high 9.3 points per game in 25 games played for the Panthers. Junior Taylor Hextrum reprises her role at the post for Chapman after starting in 25 matches last season. She averaged 5.6 rebounds per game and 3.6 points per game to help the Panthers.

Sophomore Julia Strand returns after earning a starting role at the end of the 2018-19 season. She scored 10.5 points per game in an average of 22.8 minutes. The Seattle, Wash. native also averaged 5.3 rebounds per game and one and a half steals per game.

Sophomore Madison Shigeta burst onto the scene at the end of the season, earning six of her eight starts in the final games of the season. She shot 44 percent from the field while dishing out 42 assists in 21.4 minutes per game. Fellow classmate Julianna Campas was vital for the Panthers off the bench, tallying 33 assists and 36 rebounds in 13.1 minutes per game.

Junior Brittany McPherson returns to the hardwood after missing her sophomore season due to an ACL injury. The guard made a big impact on the court in her freshman season, averaging 26.2 minutes per game. She put up big numbers off the bench all over the court, averaging 8.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.

The Panthers open the 2019-20 season at the Redlands Tip-Off Classic this weekend. They face off against St. Catherine on Friday, Nov. 8 at 5 p.m. and Southwestern on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. Chapman returns to Hutton Sports Center for their home-opener against Caltech on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 4 p.m.

by Katie Bell
Sports Information Assistant

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